St. Thomas prof and alumna co-author book on making marriage 'child-proof'

St. Thomas prof and alumna co-author book on making marriage 'child-proof'

A new book co-authored by a St. Thomas professor opens: "[F]or most couples, marital satisfaction dips significantly during the years of raising babies and young children … . Conflict and hostility increase dramatically after [the] first baby arrives …   . Emotional intimacy decreases and romance cools. … 'No kidding.'"

That's enough to extinguish the spark altogether, but here's hope for all those moms and dads who want to keep the love alive.

Interpersonal communication experts Dr. Carol Bruess, associate professor of communication and journalism, and Anna Kudak '05, have followed up their last book, What Happy Couples Do, with a new book aimed at parents.

In What Happy Parents Do: The Loving Little Rituals of a Child-Proof Marriage (Fairview Press, August 2008), authors Bruess and Kudak contend that U.S. families have become so centered on the kids that the parents' relationships suffer. So, drawing on interviews with hundreds of parents and more than 15 years of research, they offer hands-on advice for keeping relationships intact and anecdotes from 50 sets of "happy parents."

What Happy Parents Do readers can learn special ways to celebrate anniversaries and milestones, how to incorporate meaningful rituals to express love and commitment, consider the necessity of setting aside time for one another and more. Bruess and Kudak prove that the happiest couples are those who are most intentional and creative about their relationship.

The co-authors will discuss and sign their books from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, in the second-floor atrium of Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Everyone's welcome!

It's an opportunity, Bruess notes, to be ahead of the holiday shopping curve for all the couples on your list.